Lusciously Henna-ed!

Photo Credit : Mudra Advertising
Lately,I had been hunting for a natural solution for darkening my light brown hair a couple of shades. Just for that little change that uplifts both hair and bleh-moods!  The usual chemical colors and dyes available in most salons do look pretty tempting with what they promise- that perfect shade you so want. But there’s so much more to consider.Even if they are from top-notch brands. 
There are enough and more reports that talk about the side-effects of such colorants – ranging from allergic reactions,hair-fall and with some even hinting at cancer causing carcinogens. I mean, just look at the sound of PPD or Paraphenylenediamine- a common ingredient in many permanent hair dyes.I couldn’t pronounce it even after reading it thrice! Call me paranoid, but what I can’t pronounce, I wouldn’t like on me! It pays to be aware and take an informed decision.Learn more about the harmful effects of chemical based hair dyes at
But there is a very well-known, natural and healthy alternative.
Look Ma, no dye!
Henna and India have a long history and almost every Indian family is familiar with it . For the hair, it is a known colorant and volumizer , with practically no side-effects. So, back to my hunt- I also wanted to make it super-nourishing, while ensuring the dark tint I wanted. Well, I asked around, picked up some tips and tricks from the natural – care experts and voila!..a super-nourishing solution that gave me a great dark brown color , burgundy highlights and lovely,bouncy,luxurious hair!
  • Henna – 3 Tbspns (best to go for a known natural or organic brand, I chose ‘Khadi’)
  • Beetroot – 1 , Small
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1 Tspn, soaked for 2 hours
  • Mustard Oil – 1 Tbspn
  • Tea Leaves- 1 Tbspn
  • Coffee Powder – 1 Tbspn
  • Amla (Indian Gooseberry) Powder – 1 Tspn
  • Reetha (Sapindus) Powder – 1 Tspn
  • Iron Kadhai or vessel for soaking the mix
Please note that the above quantities should be proportionate to the length of hair. I have shoulder length hair, and the quantities above are customized for the length.
1. Chop the Beetroot and boil it in 1/2 cup water on a medium flame. (I also let it simmer for about 5 minutes and once it cooled down, blended it). Then just press down the gooey goodness through a strainer for a deliciously dark-maroonish extract, that gives beautiful burgundy highlights.
Beetroot – Chopped,Boiled,Blended and Strained
2. Grind the soaked Fenugreek (Methi) seeds into a paste. Fenugreek is proven to help prevent hair fall, add volume , is protein rich and also moisturizes. Learn more about its healthy-hair benefits at
Fenugreek seeds, soaked and ground
3. Boil the Tea , let it simmer for 3-4 minutes and strain the concoction. Take a tablespoon of Coffee too. (I did not boil the coffee, but used the powder as it is). Both give a lovely dark shade to the Henna.
Tea and Cofffee for that wonderful chocolatey color

4. Get out the Amla & Reetha powders. Both have been used through ages for nourishing and imparting health and texture to hair. It’s a secret every Indian is familiar with 🙂
5. Mustard Oil – One of the world’s healthiest foods, mustard is high in Omega-3, Selenium, Phosphorus.Protein,Niacin,Fibre and much more. It counters the drying effect of Henna , while nourishing the hair. Learn more about its effects on promoting healthy hair at
Mustard Oil in all its golden glory
6. Finally, blend it all together and let soak overnight in an Iron vessel/ kadhai  as Henna cures faster in Iron.
Blend all ingredients together, soak overnight in an Iron vessel
7. Apply the next morning – Use an application brush, easily available in the market and wear latex gloves to prevent hands from getting colored. You can also use a little petroleum jelly or oil along the hairline to prevent the skin from getting dyed.

Best is to get someone to apply it for you (or ask your friendly neighborhood salon to do the job!)

I got some wonderful results from this – a headful of dark brown, shiny, bouncy , healthy, luscious hair – with burgundy highlights.Is that gorgeous or is that gorgeous? 😉
Do note that ‘ Henna’s effect lasts longer than a vegetable rinse and adds a wonderful shine, highlights and bounce to the hair. Henna products, which are gluten-free and animal-cruelty-free, are not always a red color, but all henna contains and imparts a little red. Today this natural dye comes in a wide array of shades, not just red, but will not lighten hair. Henna enhances your natural color rather than totally covering it, which allows some of your natural highlights to come through.’  (source :
Also, always do a sensitivity test on your skin before applying any product.

As for me ,I’am whole heartedly Hennaedly addicted!

Background Photo Credits ( Vidya Balan) : Green Life Magazine, Aug-Sep 2010 Volume

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